A Fisherman Catches a 135 kg Crocodile Pike, a Monstrous Aquatic Relic

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A Texan fisherman recently made headlines with a catch of truly monstrous proportions.

The Passion of Payton Moore

Payton Moore, a 32-year-old American, is an avid fisherman who thrives on the thrill of “no limit” fishing—catching large fish and then releasing them back into the water. Always in search of a new challenge, Payton has long dreamed of capturing the largest freshwater fish ever hooked.

An Extraordinary Catch

Payton came tantalizingly close to achieving his goal when he caught a colossal alligator gar measuring 2.43 meters (8 feet) and weighing over 135 kg (298 pounds). This massive fish, often referred to as a crocodile pike due to its formidable jaws, was a remarkable catch. Payton captured the entire event on video and shared it with his followers on his YouTube channel.

Ethical Fishing and a Missed Record

Unofficially, the size and weight of this monstrous fish made it the largest ever caught in Texas. However, to officially certify this record, Payton would have needed to keep the fish out of the water for longer and have it weighed on a certified scale in front of witnesses. Such a process could stress and potentially kill the fish, which goes against the “no kill” fishing ethic Payton adheres to. Having worked at the Houston Zoo for 11 years, Payton is committed to the well-being of the animals he encounters.

Naturally, he released the fish back into the water. His decision was praised by many, including Dr. Solomon David, a renowned local ecologist, as noted by the Houston Chronicle.

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The Battle and the Bragging Rights

The real triumph for Payton was the intense battle to reel in the giant fish. He described the experience as feeling like holding on to a car that had just started driving, a testament to the strength and endurance of the fish.

A Living Fossil

Alligator gars, or crocodile pikes (Lepisosteidae), are prehistoric creatures that have inhabited freshwater bodies for millions of years. Known for their carnivorous nature and sharp, crocodile-like jaws, these fish can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) long. The largest specimen ever recorded measured 2.59 meters (8.5 feet) and weighed 148 kg (326 pounds).

This extraordinary encounter with a living relic of the past highlights both the excitement of sport fishing and the importance of ethical practices in preserving these magnificent creatures for future generations.

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